Audi won’t be the only team exiting Formula E following the 2020-2021 season. Following Audi’s announcement earlier this week, BMW have announced they will also be leaving the all-electric single seater series after this season.
“After seven successful years, BMW Group will end its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at the end of the coming season. As a partner from the word go, BMW has consistently supported the Formula E project and been instrumental in the series’ success story,” the automaker said in a statement.
Since its involvement in 2013 and full manufacturer entry in the 2018-2019 season, BMW says they have used all the learnings from their Formula E team and applied the lessons to their road cars. The automaker went on to say that the same engineers who develop drivetrains for their race cars are the same ones working on their road-going electric vehicles.
Of course that was the politically-correct reason given by BMW, but what we can surmise is that the cost of being in Formula E -while probably not as high as other top tier racing events like Formula 1- was too high for the company to absorb given the current global financial and economic climate.
Such a pull out isn't new for BMW in motorsport. After a successful stint in Formula One as BMW Sauber that saw them win with Robert Kubica, the Munich-based automaker left the sport due to financial reasons in 2009.
Understandably, the German marque is going to be focusing on their shift to an electrified future; specifically production. The company plans to have put one million electric and hybrid-electric vehicles on the road by 2021. They plan to extend this figure to 7 million by 2030 of which two-thirds will be fully-electric.
Racing was probably the most convenient expense they could cut to help them achieve that.